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      Serum Chitotriosidase Activity, a Marker of Activated Macrophages, Predicts New Cardiovascular Events Independently of C-Reactive Protein

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          Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) is a well-established inflammation marker associated with cardiovascular risk. However, its relationship with chitotriosidase activity, a novel marker of activated macrophages highly expressed in human atherosclerotic plaques, is unknown. Therefore, we sought to determine if serum chitotriosidase activity predicts the risk of new coronary events, and to analyze its relationship with CRP. Methods: Chitotriosidase activity and genotype, and high-sensitivity CRP were measured at baseline in 133 middle-aged men with stable coronary heart disease, who were followed for the occurrence of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality for a mean of 4 years. We studied the value of these proteins in predicting the risk of new cardiovascular events. Results: Serum chitotriosidase activity was higher in the group of subjects with a prespecified major event (nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal ischemic stroke, coronary revascularization procedures and death from cardiovascular causes) than in the group of subjects without event, 116 ± 30.9 nmol/ml·h versus 74.2 ± 5.69 nmol/ml·h, respectively (p = 0.042). The baseline values of chitotriosidase activity and CRP did not correlate (R = 0.104, p = 0.266), but both parameters were related to a reduction of event-free survival in the Cox regression analysis, with relative risks of 2.61 (p = 0.060) and 2.56 (p = 0.019), respectively. Chitotriosidase activity seems to be a better marker for new events occurring after 2 years of follow-up than in the first 2 years. Both markers had similar predictive values, and their sensitivity (64%) and negative predictive value (84%) were improved when combined. Conclusions: Our results suggest that serum chitotriosidase activity predicts the risk of new cardiovascular events in the following 4 years. This new cardiovascular risk marker is independent of CRP and, when combined, the prediction of the risk of new cardiovascular events and the identification of a lower risk group seem to improve.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Marked elevation of plasma chitotriosidase activity. A novel hallmark of Gaucher disease.

          Gaucher disease (GD; glucosylceramidosis) is caused by a deficient activity of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase (GC). Clinical manifestations are highly variable and cannot be predicted accurately on the basis of the properties of mutant GC. Analysis of secondary abnormalities, such as elevated plasma levels of some hydrolases, may help to increase insight into the complicated pathophysiology of the disease and could also provide useful disease markers. The recent availability of enzyme supplementation therapy for GD increases the need for markers as early predictors of the efficacy of treatment. We report the finding of a very marked increase in chitotrisidase activity in plasma of 30 of 32 symptomatic type 1 GD patients studied: the median activity being > 600 times the median value in plasma of healthy volunteers. In three GC-deficient individuals without clinical symptoms, only slight increases were noted. Chitotriosidase activity was absent in plasma of three control subjects and two patients. During enzyme supplementation therapy, chitotriosidase activity declined dramatically. We conclude that plasma chitotriosidase levels can serve as a new diagnostic hallmark of GD and should prove to be useful in assessing whether clinical manifestations of GD are present and for monitoring the efficacy of therapeutic intervention.
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            Plasma concentration of C-reactive protein and risk of ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack: the Framingham study.

            The role of C-reactive protein (CRP) as a novel plasma marker of atherothrombotic disease is currently under investigation. Previous studies have mostly related CRP to coronary heart disease, were often restricted to a case-control design, and failed to include pertinent risk factors to evaluate the joint and net effect of CRP on the outcome. We related plasma CRP levels to incidence of first ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) in the Framingham Study original cohort. There were 591 men and 871 women free of stroke/TIA during their 1980 to 1982 clinic examinations, when their mean age was 69.7 years. CRP levels were measured by using an enzyme immunoassay on previously frozen serum samples. Analyses were based on sex-specific CRP quartiles. Risk ratios (RRs) were derived, and series of trend analyses were performed. During 12 to 14 years of follow-up, 196 ischemic strokes and TIAs occurred. Independent of age, men in the highest CRP quartile had 2 times the risk of ischemic stroke/TIA (RR=2.0, P=0.027), and women had almost 3 times the risk (RR=2.7, P=0.0003) compared with those in the lowest quartile. Assessment of the trend in risk across quartiles showed unadjusted risk increase for men (RR=1.347, P=0.0025) and women (RR=1.441, P=0.0001). After adjustment for smoking, total/HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and diabetes, the increase in risk across CRP quartiles remained statistically significant for both men (P=0.0365) and women (P=0.0084). Independent of other cardiovascular risk factors, elevated plasma CRP levels significantly predict the risk of future ischemic stroke and TIA in the elderly.
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              Prospective study of C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and plasma lipid levels as predictors of sudden cardiac death.

              Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is an important cause of mortality even among apparently healthy populations. However, our ability to identify those at risk for SCD in the general population is poor, and more specific markers are needed. To compare and contrast the relative importance of C-reactive protein (CRP), homocysteine, and lipids as long-term predictors of SCD, we performed a prospective, nested, case-control analysis involving 97 cases of SCD among apparently healthy men enrolled in the Physician's Health Study. Of these plasma markers measured, only baseline CRP levels were significantly associated with the risk of SCD over the ensuing 17 years of follow-up (P for trend=0.001). The increase in risk associated with CRP levels was primarily seen among men in the highest quartile, who were at a 2.78-fold increased risk of SCD (95% CI 1.35 to 5.72) compared with men in the lowest quartile. These results were not significantly altered in analyses that (in addition to the matching variables of age and smoking status) controlled for lipid parameters, homocysteine, and multiple cardiac risk factors (relative risk for highest versus lowest quartile 2.65, 95% CI 0.79 to 8.83; P for trend=0.03). In contrast to the positive relationship observed for CRP, neither homocysteine nor lipid levels were significantly associated with risk of SCD. These prospective data suggest that CRP levels may be useful in identifying apparently healthy men who are at an increased long-term risk of SCD.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                November 2007
                09 February 2007
                : 108
                : 4
                : 297-306
                aLaboratorio de Investigación Molecular, Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, bDepartamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular y Celular, Universidad de Zaragoza, cServicio de Cardiología and dServicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, and eServicio de Bioquímica, Hospital San Jorge, Huesca, Spain
                99099 Cardiology 2007;108:297–306
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 5, References: 36, Pages: 10
                Original Research


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